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Crick: We need to get through the hurricane season

Crick: We need to get through the hurricane season

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Elson Crick, in charge of Corporate Communications, Marketing and Information Technology for the International Cricket Council Cricket World Cup Local Organising Committee (LOC), is hoping that the weather continues to hold.

Crick was speaking at the LOC office at Arnos Vale last Tuesday.

The month of September produced some sunny days, unlike the pattern of former years.{{more}}

However, rains have appeared in October.

Crick’s interest in the weather hinged on preparations for the ICC CWC billed to start March 11, 2007.

St Vincent and the Grenadines host warm up matches at Arnos Vale Playing Field March 5 to 9.

Preparations for those matches are progressing, but Crick put the preparedness at about 85 per cent.

Cement shortage was cited as one factor contributing to delays in construction of a Double Decker Stand and the Media Centre at Arnos Vale. Crick admitted that those buildings were “two weeks behind” but was confident that “we can catch up.”

ICC officials are expected to inspect the playing area at Arnos Vale by November.

The upgraded stadium would seat 12,500 spectators.

Crick indicated that tickets for the final and semifinals have been sold out, and he cited difficulty with persons obtaining tickets for those games.

Crick expressed the view that cricket fans may have to resort to buying Warm-up tickets for matches scheduled for Arnos Vale where defending champion Australia, England, Zimbabwe and Bermuda would be playing matches.

The Corporate Communications manager noted that Caribbean citizens were not used to purchasing tickets for events so far in advance. He is happy with security arrangements, as well as hotel and transport for teams and officials for the Warm-Up matches.

Catering has been taken care of, and Crick expressed satisfaction with the Volunteer programme which he outlined had reached an “exciting stage”.

Health issues and disaster preparedness are giving Crick some concern. He cited that the ICC demands were “real high” and he is hoping that national resources match the requirements.

The local Hotel Association and the Ministry of Tourism have endorsed efforts to upgrade the number of rooms available to visitors through a Bed and Breakfast Programme.

Some 300 additional rooms have been provided under such arrangements, and Crick is looking forward to visitors using up additional facilities on the northern Grenadine Island of Bequia as part of the accommodation package.

However, a number of visitors would be using Cruise Ships as part of the deal, and increased ferry services would be employed to help provide additional transport.

Airline services is also an area of concern to Crick, and he is hoping that ongoing efforts to work out arrangements in the airline sector could be finalised.

“We have to wait and see,” Crick said.

The region’s telecommunication ability is another segment of note to Crick.

He outlined that the “Caribbean is not one of the most reliable areas when it comes to communications.”

The marketing specialist cited inconsistent mobile phone connection, and slow Internet as areas of concern and he predicted that some visiting journalists may encounter problems with the technology.

Crick anticipates a “hue and cry” over that aspect, and acknowledged “we have to focus on that.”

The warm and hospitable nature of the Caribbean people provides a source of encouragement to Crick, but he envisages a period of visitor education on different customs and culture.

Customs and immigration officers, taxi drivers and bus operators, as well as hotel workers would have to increase their level of training in order to deal with the upsurge in visitors according to Crick.

He cited it as a test for the region in bringing off a successful world cup.

He mentioned that some persons were “waiting to see us make a mistake,” but he was optimistic that the region will rise to the occasion.

Crick referred to benefits, nationally and regionally from staging the World Cup. He is looking forward to January 2007 when some events would be undertaken to have a trial run of preparations for the real action in March.

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